A novel exploring the connections between ourselves and those we can never know, and the haunting power of art, love and dreams.
“This is very beautiful and deeply sensitive writing. With characters affected by nameless forces, the text reads as fable and allegory, and at times evokes the nightmarish sense one gets from reading Kafka. Other sections have something of the quality, in written form, of Shaun Tan’s masterly graphic novel, The Arrival.”
Author Arnold Zable (award-winning author of Jewels and Ashes, Café Scheherazade, The Fig Tree and Sea of Many Returns)
* Shadows and Wings was shortlisted, from 500+ submitted manuscripts, for the Australian CAL Scribe Fiction Prize.
Shadows & Wings
A novel of cyclic journeys between hemispheres; the juxtaposition of the ‘old world’ and the Antipodes, of memory and presence ... the connections between ourselves and those we can never know, and the haunting power of art, love and dreams.
When Lara is seven years old, she witnesses holocaust footage on evening television, and her life and spirit are seared forever. At her grandfather's death and the giving up of the family house in the Australian Bush, Lara (now a young woman) receives a strange gift — a shadow box of objects for which she has no stories. They compel her to begin her own journey into her grandfather's life of silence following his post-war migration from Germany, and her own sense of restlessness and grief. Lara returns to Germany, and the reader is taken into her grandfather's past. From here their two lives interweave, like a dance of circles gently spiralling in the same galaxy, sometimes touching and sometimes moving away ... but never finding each other. Structured on Bach's unaccompanied cello suites, the stories of Lara and her grandfather play out in fugal form: he, a cellist and lover of birds, destroyed by his drafting into the Wehrmacht and exile from all he holds sacred; Lara, facing at every turn the unfinished stories and unanswered questions of the war and of her own reasons for living.
* Download the first 40 pages - Shadows and Wings: A Fugue - PDF
Why should I help this novel get published?
"Self-publishing is about power, about taking the responsibility to disseminate your words yourself, instead of depending on being selected and approved … by a publisher who might be more interested in your marketability than your message."
Muller, Lauren (ed), June Jordan's Poetry for the People: A Revolutionary Blueprint. NY: Routledge. (1995)
The majority of publishers are now in the hands of huge, 1% corporations. HarperCollins belongs to Rupert Murdoch. Bertelsmann owns Random House. With the corporatization of the book world have come savage changes to the publishing landscape. New authors are kept to a minimum, safe names and tabloid themes get precedence. After all, the decisions that were once the exclusive domain of editors, are now in the hands of the Men in Suits, flanked by the armed guard of marketing departments. Profit margins that were 4% are now 15%, the same as they are for merchandise and DVDs – unreachable for much literary fiction. Books that don't achieve their bottom line mandates in 6 months are shelved, as the publisher owns the printing rights. A book that might need a year or more to quietly find its readership simply shrivels and is gone ... never to be re-printed.
As a long-time advocate and practitioner of independent arts, I have made the decision, with the kind understanding of my agent, to publish my novel. I do this because I do not want to relinquish my work and voice to a room full of people who believe the money speaks a truer word than the human heart. My novel has been through several publishers now, who have all praised it yet felt unsure where it would "fit" in order to sell. When publishers love a work and say no to it on the basis of profit margins, not artistic merit, I believe it is time to question the system they work in, and to find another way. That is why I am sharing it with my readers down another, homegrown path. Writing is only complete when it finds the human beings to whom it can speak, and become part of their lives, too.
Where will my funds go?
Quite simply, they will be used with gratitude for the printing and publishing of Shadows & Wings in both e-book format and also as actual physical books! Co-running an arts organization, I can safely say that formatting, and cover design can be done in-house, and the novel has already been extensively edited and proofed by industry professionals.
There is allowance for CD duplication, for the special EP bonus.
If, for some wonderful and hoped-for reason, our cup runneth over, then those funds will be put towards a promotion campaign and further printing runs.
What prompted you to write Shadows & Wings?
Shadows & Wings was born many years ago, from a conversation I overheard as a child, between an aging German soldier (and relative) and my parents. But we did not know. How could we know? I was an ordinary soldier. Years later, having become obsessed, as teacher and writer, with the rise and profound effects of fascism on Germany in the 20th century, and what it means for us today, I had to try to answer that question. I had to unpack the silences in my own family, and map what was compelling me to write.
Shadows & Wings, although about a young man coming of age as a cellist and artist in another time and place, is very much about myself. And about many people – all of us who feel like exiles, who feel that somewhere along the line we have listened and obeyed a voice that is not that of our own hearts, and we seek freedom and peace from what we have done.
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
pledged of $2,500 goal
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Apr 13, 2012 - Jun 12, 2012 (60 days)
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Pledge $5 or more
You will be joyfully thanked by name on my website!Estimated delivery: Jul 2012
Pledge $10 or more
You will be the first to receive an e-book version of Shadows & Wings, with my heartfelt thanks!Estimated delivery: Jul 2012
Pledge $25 or more
You will receive your freshly pressed, signed-with-love copy of Shadows & Wings, PLUS an e-book version of the novel. (For non-USA folks, please add an additional $10 to your pledge to cover shipping costs, thank you! ) *For additional signed copies, please add a further $20 per book (if you live outside the USA, please contact me for a shipping quote).Estimated delivery: Jul 2012
Pledge $50 or more
You will receive your freshly pressed, signed-with-love copy of Shadows & Wings, PLUS an e-book version of the novel, PLUS a digital download of the accompanying EP of original cello & piano music, themed especially for the novel! (For non-USA folks, please add $10 for shipping costs, thank you!) *For additional signed copies, please add a further $20 per book (if you live outside the USA, please contact me for a shipping quote).Estimated delivery: Jul 2012
Pledge $100 or more
With enormous pleasure, I will sign and hand-wrap 2 copies of Shadows & Wings, each with their own handmade bookmark, PLUS email you an e-book version, PLUS you will receive both a digital download AND a hand-baked actual CD copy of the accompanying EP, with its original cello & piano music, themed especially for the novel! *For additional signed copies, please add a further $20 per book (if you live outside the USA, please contact me for a shipping quote).Estimated delivery: Aug 2012
Pledge $250 or more
The goodies just keep mounting up! With a heart wishing you every good thing in this life and beyond, I will sign and hand-wrap 6 copies of Shadows & Wings, each with their own handmade bookmark, PLUS email you an e-book version, PLUS you will receive both a digital download AND 6 hand-baked actual CD copies of the accompanying EP with its original cello & piano music, themed especially for the novel! *For additional signed copies, please add a further $20 per book (if you live outside the USA, please contact me for a shipping quote).Estimated delivery: Aug 2012
Pledge $500 or more
My deepest thanks for your profoundly generous heart! You will be lovingly mailed 10 signed copies of Shadows & Wings, each gift-wrapped with its own bookmark, and hold-in-your-hand copy of the EP, with its original cello & piano music, themed especially for the novel! You will also, of course, receive an e-book version of the novel, and the EP as digital download. You will also be personally thanked in the forward of the novel, for this and every edition thereafter, in honor of your generosity. *For additional signed copies, please add a further $20 per book (if you live outside the USA, please contact me for a shipping quote).Estimated delivery: Aug 2012